Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal – Missed Cannon Fire
Making a movie that brings the patriotic feeling with abundance is not everyone’s cup of tea. Recently Saya-e-Khua-e-Zuljalal (SKZ) is released in Pakistan. SKZ is based on real incidents and the story revolves around mostly true events. The cast of SKZ is loaded with prominent names of Pakistani dramas and films, including Moammar Rana, Noor, Jawed Sheikh, Firdaus Jamal, Nayyar Ejaz, Shafqat Cheema, Afzal Khan (Rambo), Nimra Khan and Jia Ali etc. Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal is written by Mohammad Tauseef and directed by Umair Fazli. Let’s see what Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal has to offer to its viewers, as recently Maalik and Salute also released under the same genre.
The plot of SKZ is one of those which looks amazing on the paper and even qualifies for a powerful script when narrated. SKZ is about a corrupt police officer Haider (Moammar Rana), his father Hamza (Jawed Sheikh) who has been a devoted soldier. SKZ is about understanding what true patriotism was back in 1965 when Indians attacked Lahore (Pakistan) and how Pakistani soldiers fought with bravery and smartness; plus it is also about how to bring change in current scenario of Pakistan’s political grounds. SKZ highlights the significance of freedom and one’s duty towards motherland; it also showcases the relationship between a patriotic father and a mislead son. If you want to experience and witness the war of 1965 on big screen with some power-packed dialogues and sequences then Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal will impress you.
Performance wise, SKZ is very weak. Moammar Rana looks over-aged for the role and fatigued in many scenes, as if he has no interest in the character. It’s a let down from an experienced actor like Moammar Rana to give a below average performance in a character which was the central role in the movie. Jawed Sheikh is believable and gives a seasoned performance; very calculated. Firdaus Jamal has his fair share of scenes where he proves he is a veteran. Jia Ali is wasted, Rachel Gil (as Razia Sultana) is bad. Noor manages to give a decent performance. Nayyar Ejaz is effective – but is being type-casted. One talent to look out in SKZ is Essa Chaudhary (the boy playing the younger version of Moammar Rana), he is very confident and talented – the hero material for Pakistan cinema.
The direction of the movie is very weak, only the war sequence that is 10 – 15 minutes long is something to look at. It is nicely filmed, thanks to multiple cameos by Afzal Khan, Asad Malik, Arbaz Khan and others plus some high voltage patriotic dialogues which keep audience engaged and uplifted. The music of the movie is below average.
Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal fails to ignite the patriotic passion in the viewers, for which the movie was aiming entirely. So, it’s a miss rather than a hit.